This is the 8th calendar year we’re managing The Stackies. It’s an awards plan that invitations marketers to share a solitary slide illustrating their martech stack — the distinct applications and platforms they use and how they conceptualize them doing the job jointly.
I’d stimulate you to take part (deadline for entries April 29). It is a wonderful way to contribute to our community’s comprehension of how martech suits into the perform and move of fashionable marketing.
Having said that, even if you under no circumstances share your stack outdoors the walls of your company, illustrating it can be an incredibly useful work out to improved comprehend it — and be equipped to describe it to other stakeholders.
So what’s the best way to illustrate your stack?
Turns out there are numerous techniques, just about every bringing a various lens. Getting reviewed hundreds of entries to The Stackies above the many years — here are all of them from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 — I have distilled 10 designs that I have seen on their personal and in mix alongside one another.
1. Seller Classification Map
Usually working with the taxonomy from our advertising and marketing engineering landscape, martech applications are arranged into their merchandise categories and subcategories. It reveals your stack via the lens of a vendor industry map and identifies the goods you have chosen. This is a great way to look at your general stack inventory and exhibit the span of martech methods.
Here’s an illustration from SAS and their 2021 Stackie entry:
2. Purchaser Journey Map
One more typical design is to align your martech stack versus different stage of the customer’s journey. Commonly for entries to The Stackies, the journey is simplified into 4-5 phases, this kind of as Uncover, Contemplate, Acquire, Onboard, and Develop.
This great example from Juniper Networks and their 2021 Stackie entry illustrates two dimensions: the shopper journey horizontally and the vendor classes used vertically:
3. Back-Stage vs. Front-Phase
Yet another way of wanting at your stack is via a theater metaphor: back again-stage and front-stage apps and platforms. Front-stage apps straight contact the customer — e.g., world-wide-web encounters, e mail campaigns, social media engagement tools, advertising and marketing, etc. Back-stage applications are utilized to serve internal stakeholders, such as analytics, scheduling, asset administration, productiveness, etcetera.
This is an elegant instance from Crimson Wing Shoes and their 2017 Stackie entry, with again-phase to entrance-phase categorization together the vertical access and buyer journey phase together the horizontal axis:
4. Functionality or Position-Centered Map
Although martech stacks can be fairly massive, any one man or woman in the advertising section is not likely to have to find out all of the applications within just it. Various roles within internet marketing will use various instruments. So yet another valuable way of mapping your martech stack is to team applications by the roles or functions that use them. This is reveals the “who” dimension of your stack, which is helpful to see the interrelation in between apps, techniques, and outcomes.
This case in point from Bigtincan’s 2019 Stackie entry illustrates a few key roles: website administration, advertising and marketing automation, and material marketing and advertising:
5. Level Resolution/System Ecosystem Map
Integration is vital to an successful martech stack. Yet another great way to visually review your stack is to display the platform(s) that are the gravitational heart(s) of your martech stack and which professional apps integrate to each individual of them. It is an ecosystem look at of your stack.
This instance from Poly’s 2020 Stackie entry really captures 5 distinct dimensions, such as relative investment, paid/attained/owned solutions, seller category — and identifies platforms, built-in specialist apps, and stand-alone point methods:
6. Use Map (Relative Time in Resources)
Some martech apps are applied regularly, as an integral portion of marketing’s day-to-working day operations. Other applications, even so, are extra specialized and used significantly less frequently. This doesn’t suggest they’re not precious. They just have a time and place for their objective. Identifying seriously-made use of most important instruments vs. lightly-employed equipment experts can be a further insightful way to fully grasp the composition of your stack.
This instance from Airstream’s 2019 Stackie entry cluster apps principally by their use situation — planning, creative, engagement, vendor channel, and measurement — but the height of the pine tree icons signifies the relative time entrepreneurs devote interacting with each and every device:
7. Relative Diploma of Automation
Although looking at the amount of money of time that people commit engaged with various instruments in your stack, it’s an interesting lens to study how automatic people tools are. Which resources are utilized mainly manually? Which ones have important automations? This perspective can be valuable equally to fully grasp the partnership concerning instruments and internet marketing approach and functions. It can also assist recognize chances to automate.
Automation is the biggest frontier in Large Ops in my opinion.
This case in point from Paychex’s 2019 Stackie entry maps out their martech applications on two proportions: unique marketing abilities and the degree to which they are automatic:
8. Pace Layering of Platforms and Apps
Above a 10 years back, as tech stacks in common — not just martech — were increasing speedily, Gartner proposed a way to organize them by “speed layer.” They advised a few levels: systems of report, programs of differentiation, and devices of innovation.
Techniques of history need to be really steady and have a gradual rate of adjust. They’re the platforms on which other software package and solutions depend. Methods of differentiation embody the processes and experiences that make your enterprise unique. They change more frequently, but are continue to comparatively stable. Units of innovation are more experimental, the spot where new capabilities can be designed and piloted speedily.
A single of the best Stackie entries was this a single from Microsoft in 2017, which mapped applications together the infinite loop of consumer journeys, but then also separated them into Gartner’s 3 tempo levels:
9. Evolution of Martech Equipment Over Time
Martech stacks do not stand even now. New applications are included. Old instruments are changed. This is component of the organic evolution of a business enterprise as it grows — and as the broader marketing and advertising and martech natural environment proceeds to change close to it. It can be useful to look at your martech stack via the lens of its modifying app stock above time.
This case in point, despatched in by reader John Schott in 2017, reveals a five-year journey of a small money solutions organization:
10. Connected Abilities Map
At the intersection of teams and instruments, abilities are produced. Instead than looking at your stack via the lens of vendor categories, you can organize a look at all around distinctive capabilities, such as marketplaces, consumer-generated articles, content material syndication, qualitative and quantitative exploration, etc. Mapping these abilities in clusters, to show their adjacencies and associations with each other offers you a image of the ecosystem all over your stack.
This 2021 Stackie entry from Philips is a terrific instance:
Other Ways to Map Your Stack
Of training course, there are many other techniques to visualize other dimensions of your stack.
For instance, you may organize it close to aggregation systems within your martech stack. How are you horizontally aggregating information, workflow, practical experience, and governance across many various applications, knowledge resources, and purchaser touchpoints? Which equipment are you using to vertically combine these layers within just unique domains, such as CRM?
Alternatively, you may well illustrate your stack to emphasize the degree of customization in unique applications and platforms. They could possibly assortment of purely out-of-the-box professional applications, to packaged items that have been tailored or prolonged with your possess code, to absolutely custom applications that are exceptional to your business enterprise.
Each of these different ways can give you distinct insights into the character of your stack — and support you communicate them to stakeholders throughout your corporation.
What does your martech stack glimpse like?
Reminder: Even if you really don’t enter The Stackies yourself — despite the fact that we definitely hope you do — really don’t fail to remember to indicator up for the absolutely free webinar on #MartechDay, May perhaps 3. We’ll be unveiling the new 2022 martech landscape, releasing a State of Martech report, and celebrating the entrants and winners of this year’s Stackie Awards.
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